Starlink connects PH indigenous communities | Inquirer Technology

Starlink connects Philippine indigenous communities

09:35 AM July 20, 2023

Koronadal City Mayor Eliordo “Bebot” Ogena announced he provided internet access to indigenous communities with Starlink. The local leader said it helps UNESCO and NCCA representatives by offering satellite internet to the city’s 12 indigenous communities. Ogena hopes it will help tribes preserve their culture for the next generations.

The Philippines has rapidly improved its digitalization efforts since President Bongbong Marcos took office. Yet, projects like the one from Koronadal show how futuristic technologies can help preserve long-standing traditions. It is a remarkable example of how gadgets and programs can empower humans instead of replacing them.


This article will elaborate on Koronadal’s satellite internet project for remote communities. Later, I will cover the country’s other tech developments to show the Philippines’ rapid progress.

Why did Koronadal use Starlink?

Mayor Eliordo Ogena acknowledges the importance of Mindanao’s indigenous culture. Like other traditions, PH tribes passed down culture by telling and recording stories.

Yet, the local leader understands people share knowledge through the Internet nowadays. Consequently, he provided Starlink access to Koronadal City. Ogena elaborated on his project with the following Twitter statement:

“Utilizing @Starlink, I am excited to empower & connect the School of Living Traditions of our constellation of remote indigenous communities from Mindanao’s Blaan Tribe as they continue to teach, preserve, & share their beautiful culture & arts with the next generation.”

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“Guided by the oral stories and wonderful live performances of their tribal elders, our young people from these faraway Philippine indigenous communities can now, with Starlink connectivity, connect the rest of the world to the heart and soul of their rich cultural heritage. Remarkably, 80% of our young, vibrant tribal community is 12 to 20 years old.”

“Our ambitious initiative in Koronadal City is to enable the aspirations of our young custodians of culture in @UNESCO and @NCCAOfficial’s School of Living Traditions by providing Starlink to all 12 of our isolated indigenous communities, to the rest of our barangays (local administrative districts), and ultimately, to the entire Koronadal City.”


Such local projects help Starlink gain more Filipino subscribers. Moreover, the satellite internet company launched an exclusive promo that lets Filipinos buy an internet kit for ₱19,999 instead of $29,230 until August 2023.

What are the Philippines’ other tech projects?

Image showcasing the Philippines' diverse tech projects, exemplifying the country's commitment to technological advancement and progress.

Philippine lawmakers swiftly responded to the potential benefits and risks of artificial intelligence. Consequently, Surigao del Norte Second District Representative Robert Ace Barbers filed a national AI Bill.

The lawmaker filed it in the House of Representatives on March 1, 2023. House Bill #7396 proposes the creation of the Artificial Intelligence Development Authority (AIDA), which is “responsible for the development and implementation of a national Ai strategy.” Moreover, he attached a note explaining the bill’s purpose:

“AI is rapidly transforming the global economy, with its potential to enhance productivity, improve the delivery of public services, and drive economic growth.”

“While the Philippines recognizes the importance of AI in the development of the country, the rapid phase of technological advancement in AI also poses risks and challenges….”

“…that must be addressed to ensure that its benefits are maximized, and its negative impacts are minimized, if not avoided,” it added. Also, it will launch AIDA to conduct risk assessments and impact analyses to ensure the technology complies with ethical guidelines and protects individual welfare.

You may also like: How AI impacts Philippine jobs

Barbers said, “Sa paglabas ng bagong teknolohiya na AI, tiyak din na may mga tao na gagamitin ito sa kasamaan.” (The release of new AI-based technologies will surely entice some people to use them for evil ends.)

Believe it or not, the Philippines also used blockchain technology to promote indigenous culture. For example, CEO and Creative Director Victor Baguilat launched Ifugao weaves as the Kandama NFT collection.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) record physical and digital goods ownership on blockchains or cryptocurrency networks. Baguilat explained his project by saying, “When I heard that some brands that are familiar to me started doing NFTs, that’s when I realized that maybe that’s really the right direction.”


The Philippine city of Koronadal recently provided internet access to remote tribes via Starlink. Mayor Ogena says it will help them promote indigenous cultures online.

The country has rapidly advanced its digitalization efforts by exploring blockchain and artificial intelligence applications. Soon, it may become a global AI data center.

More countries face the challenge of global digitalization, so you must prepare, too. Learn more about the latest digital tips and trends at Inquirer Tech.

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TOPICS: interesting topics, Internet, Philippines, Starlink, Trending
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